Barrett, who won a silver medal in the women’s high jump at the London Olympics last summer and is a six-time NCAA champion, sang the national anthem before winning her most recent NCAA title for the University of Arizona. She brings the world’s second-best high jump mark this year into the U.S. track and field championships, which will take place this weekend at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.
The U.S. championships help determine who will represent the U.S. at the world championships, to be held Aug. 10-18 in Moscow. Much of this weekend’s action can be seen via webcast. There's some national coverage, too.
Barrett, who cleared a personal-best 6 feet 6 1/4 inches to win her medal in London, said she’s aiming this weekend for the U.S. record of 6 feet 8 3/4 inches, set three years ago in Des Moines by Chaunte Howard-Lowe.
“I’m going to be a U.S.A. champion, and going to qualify for Worlds, to stamp my ticket to Russia. My goal for the World Championships is to win,” she said during a recent conference call with reporters.
“I know that I am just as talented as these girls. I work just as hard as these girls. If anything, I feel like I possibly work harder than them because I didn’t get to rest like they did. I got thrown right into the collegiate season as soon as I came back from London. I’ve been training really hard to make sure I’m ready to compete at the world level and compete against these women that I know I can beat.
“Getting second in the Olympics is very freeing for me. It was my first time at the Olympics. I medaled at the Olympics [and got a personal record] at the Olympics. There is nothing that I cannot do. The only thing I have to do is make sure I’m ready in my mind and I’m ready in my body. And I know what God has for me is for me.”
The U.S. championships will feature an array of London medalists, including triple-gold medalist Allyson Felix of Los Angeles, who triumphed in her specialty -- the 200 -- as well as in the 400-meter and 1,600-meter relays. She’s entered in the 200 in Des Moines. Carmelita Jeter of Los Angeles, who won gold in the 400-meter relay, silver in the 100 and bronze in the 200, is entered in the 100. Olympic 400-meter champion Sanya Richards-Ross is entered in the 400.
Among the men, Tyson Gay will bring a world-leading time of 9.86 seconds into the 100-meter dash. He won a silver in London in the 400-meter relay. Justin Gatlin, the bronze medalist in the 100 at London, has the world’s second-best time this year, 9.91 seconds. Both are also entered in the 200. Nick Symmonds will be trying for his sixth straight title in the 800. He finished fifth in London, one place behind USC alumnus Duane Solomon. Galen Rupp, the Olympic silver medalist in the 10,000, is entered in that event.